A former C.I.A. official was charged with stealing and transferring classified information, the Department of Justice announced late Monday, another chapter in one of the largest and most embarrassing leaks in the organization’s history.
Joshua Schutle, 29, of New York, New York, is accused of stealing a trove of sensitive documents related to the C.I.A. hacking capabilities and giving them to an unnamed website, one that appears to be WikiLeaks.
“Schulte utterly betrayed this nation and downright violated his victims,” said William F. Sweeney, Jr., assistant director of the Justice Department said in a statement. “As an employee of the CIA, Schulte took an oath to protect this country, but he blatantly endangered it by the transmission of classified information.”
When WikiLeaks published the documents, called Vault 7, in March 2017, it sparked a manhunt for the leaker. The Justice Department did not name WikiLeaks in the documents and instead, only referring to it as “Organization-1.”
The federal indictment, posted by the New York Times, says that Schutle obtained records of sensitive information relating to national defense, transferred it to an outside organization and then tried to cover his tracks. That effort was unsuccessful.
Schutle was also charged with receipt, possession and transportation of child pornography. On his personal computer, federal agents said they found an “encrypted container” with more than 10,000 images and videos of child pornography. Schutle was already detailed on the child pornography charges as investigators looked into his involvement with the Vault 7 leaks.